A recent article on Cleveland.com features new Emergency Reporting customer Parma Fire Department (OH) and focuses on how the department is saving thousands of dollars by switching from paper records to ER’s cloud-based fire software.
According to the article, “The use of paper, snail mail and man-hours was so pervasive in the department that Fire Chief Mike Laskey estimates that the changeover to Emergency Reporting will save the city more than $10,000 annually.”
The savings come mainly from no longer having to spend on paper and printing costs, significantly more man-hours, and a more expensive outdated incident reporting system.
The department had used another reporting system for many years, but it cost more and didn’t have many of the features that ER’s Fire & EMS records management system (RMS) offers. Aside from saving the department money, Chief Laskey mentioned other benefits, including the ability to save massive amounts of time on inspection paperwork (half an hour compared to three or four weeks). He also mentioned that because ER is cloud-based, they can easily share information (such as pre-plans) with their other five stations as well as the many other fire departments that use ER in neighboring cities.
To see the full article, click here or read below:
Parma Fire Department digitizes inspection program, saves city more than $10,000 annually
By John Benson, special to cleveland.com
PARMA, Ohio — After leaving a costly paper trail a mile long for decades, the Parma Fire Department recently introduced its new fire prevention and investigation bureau’s computerized inspection package.
The use of paper, snail-mail, and man-hours was so pervasive in the department that Fire Chief Mike Laskey estimates that the changeover to Emergency Reporting will save the city more than $10,000 annually.
“We were in a prehistoric age, where everything was done by paper,” Laskey said. “It used to be we had files at all five fire stations, as well as sent inspection paperwork to business owners.
“Everything was done by old-time paperwork. We’d have to send it, sign it and have them send it back. One inspection would sometimes take three or four weeks before you got everything signed and returned.”
Laskey estimated that in annual inspector form printing costs alone, his department was spending $1,500 annually.
“Nowadays, with this new program, it can be a half-hour,” Laskey said. “If there are any violations, the occupant takes a picture of what was fixed and sends it back to us. We attach it to the files and that’s done.
“Everything is stored on the cloud, so we can share between the five stations and with other cities.”
For nearly a quarter of a century, the Parma Fire Department was spending $6,500 annually to use an antiquated fire reporting system — FIREHOUSE Software — which didn’t include inspections.
Now, with the web-based Emergency Reporting, the cost is $5,000 a year, which is good for a $1,500 savings and more.
“Most of the cities use Emergency Reporting, which means we can share information such as pre-plans,” Laskey said. “So if they’re responding to a building fire in Parma, we can share where all of the connections, gas lines and utilities are located.
“The other part of the program is I used to have to pay an officer to send monthly reports to the state. This does it automatically, sending 14,000 run reports a year on a monthly basis. It sends out our ambulance billing, too. That’s saving probably another $5,000.”
Mayor Tim DeGeeter applauded the department’s use of cost-cutting modern technology.
“This paperless process now utilized by our Fire Department is another way to enhance efficiency through available technology,” DeGeeter said.
(Image credit: Cleveland.com)